EBN | EL SALVADOR APANECA LLAMATEPEC EL BORBOLLON
Classic Profile | Medium roast
Tasting Notes: Nutty, Milk Chocolate, Toast
IT ALL STARTS AT THE COFFEE FARM
Finca La Reforma and Finca Santa Maria were established by Rafael Alvarez Lalinde in 1892 on the rich, humid slopes of the Santa Ana Volcano. Originally from Colombia, Don Rafael immigrated into the region, bringing some of his best coffee seeds with him to begin a new legacy for coffee production. Four generations later his descendents still own and manage this pair of small neighboring farms – originally part of this initial farm, which was broken up for inheritances – on the fertile slopes of the Santa Ana volcano.
The Alvarez Diaz brothers are the fourth generation to farm coffee in the Apaneca Ilamatepec region. Following in their father’s footsteps, both farms to this day are planted solely with Red Bourbon variety coffee trees, demonstrating the family’s commitment to quality even in the face of El Salvador’s recent struggles with coffee leaf rust, to which Bourbon trees are particularly susceptible.
The trees are cultivated under native shade, which improves and conserves the soil and provides habitats for birds, and are managed according to a stringent pruning schedule that maintains the health of the trees and improves their resistance to diseases and insect damage. The excellent growing conditions and the commitment to sustainable growing practices have helped the family to harvest some of the best coffee from this elite region of El Salvador, which is then processed at the family’s state-of-the-art El Borbollon mill in Santa Ana.
El Borbollon mill is managed by Eduardo Alvarez, and under his direction, the mill has increasingly sold coffee to specialty markets and has provided key technical assistance and guidance to the farms with which they work. In fact, Eduardo’s hard work and advocacy has enabled many of these farms to place in the Cup of Excellence, a national competition and auction. Of the fifteen high altitude farms with which El Borbollon works, ten have won places in Cup of Excellence competitions. Four of these, including La Reforma, have won the COE Presidential Award for achieving scores in excess of 90 points.
Eduardo manages activities at the mill to complement the natural potential of the coffees that he and other farms in the region produce. All their coffees are pulped without water and then fermented for 16 – 20 hours until peak fermentation is achieved. The coffee is then washed in clean, fresh water to remove all traces of mucilage. The parchment coffee is moved to the mill’s expansive clay patios, where it is slowly sundried and regularly turned by hand.
Clay patios are traditional in this region, and Eduardo prefers them to the more modern concrete patios as clay is endothermic (absorbs heat) and, thus, very good at regulating temperature. Coffees dried this way dry very slowly (a minimum 9 to 10 days) and evenly. Eduardo’s experience has shown that the longer the drying time, the better the cup, and the mill has even been experimenting with increasing drying time further through partial sun drying for small lots, where the coffee is placed on an area of the patios that only receives 4 to 5 hours a day of sunlight.
The Alvarez family’s farms and mill offers considerable social support to local communities and have recently been working with a local NGO to help tackle child malnutrition in rural communities. The family is also committed to developing sustainable practices in order to protect and preserve the natural environment.
The Alvarez Family, Fincas La Reforma and Santa Maria
1400 - 1500 meteres
DID YOU KNOW
El Salvador started producing coffee during the 18th century for domestic consumption. It wasn't until the 19th century that the country started exporting coffee.
Price paid by Driftaway (per pound avg. across this months coffees)
Fair Trade price per pound
Coffee C-Market price per pound
Driftaway's World Coffee Research contribution per pound
This coffee travelled 3,377 miles to the Driftaway Coffee roastery in Queens.
Love the coffee? You can share your compliments & tasting observations with the farmers.
WHY DID WE SELECT THIS COFFEE?
This meticulous attention to detail shown at every stage of production – from harvesting to wet milling to cupping – has enabled the family to survive the many struggles that the coffee industry in El Salvador has suffered in the last 20 years and even to inspire neighbouring farms to invest in the quality of their production.
This is the second year in a row we’ve roasted this coffee, and continue to be impressed with its milk chocolate layers of sweetness, and nuttiness, making it a perfect choice for the Classic profile!
AVERAGE CUPPING SCORE
SCAA Cupping Score
20 x 69 kg
Length of producer relationship
100% (in 2020)
Transparent coffees purchased
HOW DID WE ROAST THIS COFFEE?
This coffee is being roasted by Ian T. from 15th August to 8st September in Long Island City, Queens. We typically use the Loring Kestrel roaster for this profile. We have strict guidelines for each of the coffee profiles, and this roast has to pass the development time ratio test as measured in real-time by the roasting software, Cropster. Once it does, it is approved for production.
We perform Quality Control via a process of coffee tasting called cupping on all of our production roasts once a week from home as per our Covid-19 shelter in place guidelines. Each cupping is conducted by our roasting staff Kieran D. and Ian T. using standard equipment, and is logged by our Q-certified cupper Ian T. All coffees are evaluated on a scoring scale of 0 to 3.
- 3.0 = exceptional roast - exceeds expectations
- 2.5 = on par with profile - matches expectations
- 2.0 = good roast, but 1 or 2 elements could be improved - needs improvement
- 1.5 or lower = failed - do not ship
AT YOUR HOME
Brew this coffee with your favorite home brewer and enjoy the taste of incredible coffee! Here are a few tips on how to make the best coffee on each brewer.